Fleet Safety can play a part in accident reduction
According to the Department of Transport, 1,713 people were killed in road traffic accidents during 2013. Although road safety is improving, with vehicle technology and advances in road engineering being contributing factors, poor driving behaviour still causes accidents and shatters lives. What role does fleet safety need to play in reducing this further?
For organisations whose workforce drive to business appointments, whether in a company vehicle or private car, poor road safety can have huge financial and reputational implications not to mention, costly legal fees. Driving during the working day is possibly one of the riskiest activities an employee will undertake.
Annual figures (2016) released from Lex Autolease has reported a significant increase in motoring fines as a result of company car and van drivers. The data was taken from 353,000 company vehicles in operation across the UK. Figures reveal £14 million was paid in motoring fines and highlights a 26% increase on the previous year.
So, how can you protect your drivers and your organisation’s motoring budget?
As employers, you have a legal, moral and social responsibility to improve fleet safety, hence improving the safety of your employees and the general public. Managing road risk can also have positive financial benefits. For example, road traffic accidents can cost your organisation increased insurance premiums, lost productivity and revenue, damaged stock and possible sick leave. Reducing accidents by raising awareness can thus, improve your business’ motoring budget.
Implementing a straightforward Driving Policy is paramount. Your policy should be produced in consultation with managers and your health and safety officer. Furthermore, your company policy must include your organisation’s health and safety statement.
It should be communicated to and agreed by your workforce. When rolling out your policy to employees, it is important to ensure that you have a robust audit trail of who has read and agreed with the policy. It is also important to show that employees have understood the policy. WorkWize from EssentialSkillz can fully automate this process, pushing the policy out to employees to sign off using a digital signature. WorkWize also includes a test on the policy to prove understanding. This is all reported back in a comprehensive Compliance dashboard.
Procedures and guidance should be available in an employee’s handbook, providing information on vehicle safety and maintenance, journey planning, a mobile phone policy, an alcohol and drugs policy and advice on the use of satellite navigation devices. Additionally, procedures on what to do in the event of an accident should be included with all relevant reporting forms and line manager contact details.
Driver assessment and training is an effective way of demonstrating the importance of road safety and highlights how different behaviours can contribute to road accidents.
EssentialSkillz offer DriveWize training courses designed to highlight how driver behaviour can impact road safety, for themselves and for other drivers. The online course explains how accidents can be caused by how the driver behaves, including failing to observe rules of the road, not paying enough attention or being distracted. It details the responsibilities each driver has each time they use a public highway and covers the legal requirements within the UK for ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy. Such checks include having regular MOT tests and maintaining the safe condition of lights, tyres, wheel fixings, bodywork, trailer coupling, loads and all other equipment.
The course also demonstrates safe driving techniques and includes tips and recommendations for safe motorway driving. It highlights the factors that can impede a person’s ability to drive safely, including fatigue, alcohol, poor posture and poor weather conditions.
The EssentialSkillz Drivewize UK eLearning course can be fully customised to meet the needs of your organisation. A designated course administrator can edit the text and images within the course, and link to organisation-specific documentation, all at no extra cost.
If you are are an SME looking for training for under 100 employees, you can purchase Driver Training Courses on a pay as you go basis from www.courses123.com
Larger organisations can benefit from our full O-LAS Learning Management System and a full business protection training pack of courses that includes Driver Training alongside other key topics like Cyber Security and Data Protection.